Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at YHS


In the fall of 2019, the Yarmouth School Committee, upon recommendation of the school administration, identified increasing intercultural competence as one of the district's priority areas. Since that time, training at the leadership level was begun and was followed by district-wide professional development for all educators, student programming, and eventually community engagement. Momentum has continued with the 2020 formation of Yarmouth's Equity Task Force, the creation of a YHS Black Students' Union, participation in Maine's Cultural Competence Institute, and ongoing engagement with Maine Intercultural Communications Consultants to guide our learning as the district commits to a journey of continual improvement.

See this website for more information on district-wide efforts in this area.

At Yarmouth High School we are providing opportunities for all staff and students to explore and grow intercultural competence, starting with a focus on racism in our society.

Revised Yarmouth Schools Core Values

In April 2021, the Yarmouth School Committee adopted a revised set of district Core Values that reflect the district's continued commitment to work on intercultural competence:

  • Equity Our schools prioritize having systems in place that provide each student an equal opportunity for access and success.

  • Empathy Empathic people strive to understand the feelings and perspectives of others, and use that understanding to guide their own actions.

  • Integrity People with integrity are honest, sincere, trustworthy, ethical, loyal and fair.

  • Perseverance People who persevere are able to work toward their goals in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or


  • Responsibility Responsible people know, understand, consider and accept the impact and consequences of

their personal actions and decisions on others and the environment.

  • Respect Respectful people recognize, seek out, and value diversity in ideas and people.

  • Continual Growth People who value continual growth are committed to a culture in which all feel encouraged and empowered to continually develop greater skills and knowledge.

Our Goals

We seek, as a whole school community, to:

  • Make YHS a brave space for students and staff to discuss the types of racism America is facing today

  • Empower students to speak their minds civilly and in the appropriate time and place and to listen respectfully and openly to those who disagree with them

  • Encourage students and staff to consider the meaning of "society" and "community"

  • Encourage students and staff to engage in reflection about their identity and their role in society

  • Empower staff to facilitate difficult conversations

  • Empower students and staff to combat racism in all its forms

  • Emphasize the value of critical thinking and build skills for processing news and media

Upcoming Activities

Friday, June 4: Grade 9-11 Advisory Activity: "Understanding Racism Part 1"

Fall 2021: Grade 10-12 Advisory Activity: "Understanding Racism Part 2"; Grade 9 "Understanding Racism Part 1"

Understanding Racism Part 1

Key Questions:

  • What is the relationship between equity and justice?

  • What are some forms that racism takes in America today?


  • Review YHS Discussion Norms

  • Yarmouth Schools Revised Core Values Examination & Discussion

    • Compassion is often defined as having concern for the suffering of others. How is that different from Empathy?

    • What is the difference between Pursuit of Excellence and Continual Growth?

    • Examination of Tony Ruth's Equity Series

      • How does this help show the difference between equality and equity?

      • How does this help show the difference between equity and justice?

      • Why would it make sense for our school district to start by making equity one of their values instead of justice?

  • Key terms, Video & Reflection

    • Racial Equity: When every person's unique gifts and talents are cultivated and policies and practices that negatively affect them are interrupted. Racial equity reduces the degree to which race can be used to predict who will thrive and who will struggle.

Source: Adapted from Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent of Ithaca Schools

    • Race: A concept created by society based on the incorrect assumption that physical differences such as skin color, hair color and texture, and facial features are related to intellectual, moral, and cultural superiority. Even though race is a socially constructed concept, it has a significant impact on people's everyday lives. Source: Aguilar, E. (2020). Coaching for Equity: Conversations that Change Practice. Josey-Bass.

    • Racism: Any action that, even unintentionally, accepts or reinforces inequitable opportunities or outcomes for people or groups based on their race. On a small scale, racism involves accepting the idea that one race is superior to others. On a large scale racism involves one group having the power to carry out systemic discrimination against races deemed inferior.

Source: Adapted from: Glenn E. Singleton & Curtis Linton, Courageous Conversations about Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools. 2006. pp.58­65. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Understanding Racism Part 2

Key Questions:

  • To what extent does racism impact our society?

  • What could individuals in the YHS community do right away to take a stand against hate and promote equity?


  • Listen to quotes from parents of Yarmouth students about why it is important to understand racism and promote equity in our Yarmouth schools.

  • Review Yarmouth Schools Revised Core Values and YHS Discussion Norms

  • Feelings check and reflection on the idea from scholars Kendi and Brown that "Shame does not lead to Social Justice"

  • Key term: Implicit Bias

  • Anti-Defamation League's Pyramid of Hate

  • Key Term: Microaggression

    • Microaggression: The everyday slights, snubs, or insults, which communicate negative and/or inaccurate messages that target people based solely upon their membership in an underrepresented group. Microaggressions can be verbal, nonverbal, environmental, intentional, or unintentional. Source: Adapted from: Derald Wing Sue

For more information

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